LOOKING TO bring rodeo to Ferriday are, from left, William Scott, Kenda Washington, Keyondric Brown and Darius Cain. (Photo by Joey Martin)

Put down the guns and pick up a rope!

That’s the saying of the Middle Boys — Kenda Washington, Darius Cain, William Scott and Keyondric Brown — who are bringing rodeo to Ferriday.

The foursome approached the Ferriday Town Council on December 14 about building a rodeo arena on Hwy. 15 near the former Kelly’s Kids building.

The board approved the request pending state approval on the site.

Middle Boys represents the fact Ferriday is in the middle of rodeo competitions the foursome compete in north and south of Ferriday, west of Ferriday and into Mississippi.

Washington has been doing rodeo his entire life.

“I grew up in the projects Washington said. “Rodeo kept me out of trouble. I may have ended up in jail without it. I was cowboy before I knew what it was. I eat, sleep and breathe rodeo.”

Brown said they approached Ferriday Mayor Rydell Turner, who suggested the site on Hwy. 15, which is three acres.

The Ferriday men hold rodeo training for children in Tensas Parish every Wednesday.

“We decided this is something we need to do in Ferriday for the young people here to keep them off the streets,” Scott said. “And we welcome volunteers.:

The foursome said they would hold rodeo training three or four times a week and then have a little rodeo every fourth Sunday, or whatever works out best.

“The training is free,” they said.

All four said they are disturbed by the number of shootings in Ferriday recently.

“We want to get the kids off the street,” Cain said. “We want to keep their minds occupied.”

“We’ve had a majority of kids asking us about this,” Washington said. “We’re all kind of role models to them, so we want to give them something positive.”

The rodeo training will be open to all children and adults.

“We’ll break them down into different classes,” Washington said.

Cain said bringing all kids together could have a positive impact.

“We’re not saying it’s a solution, but it’s an alternative,” he said. “Maybe we can get two kids on opposite sides together, talking to each other and realizing, ‘Hey, that person is not so bad.’”

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